Speaking in front of New York City Jewish community leaders, U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced a new plan to fight anti-Semitism. In the pursuit of combating hate crimes, Attorney General Barr highlighted recent acts of anti-Semitic violence and intimidation, which he said will be pursued more vigorously. As hate crimes increase dramatically, so must the forces and resources fighting them.
Now, with the Attorney General’s office involved, state and local police will no longer be the sole combatants. The American Jewish Congress applauds Attorney General Barr’s decision to bring in the federal government, as federal resources have the potential to deal a bigger blow to hate and bigotry, and deter future copycat offenders.
But we cannot rely solely on law enforcement to fight anti-Semitism. As we have consistently stated, dialogue between the Jewish community and their surrounding communities will foster a better understanding. Besides the push in federal law enforcement, we welcome also Attorney General Barr second initiative, which will direct all U.S. state attorney offices across the country to “initiate or reinvigorate” their outreach to their Jewish communities. This is essential to building trust between local leaders and the Jewish community and will facilitate the reporting of anti-Semitic incidents. Overall, simply declaring that the administration will take on a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism is a precedent not seen from administrations before. We look forward to seeing this new initiative come to fruition.